All LASP students take the following courses, which make up LASP's experiential and academic core.  Courses with an asterisk * may be taken in Spanish or English.

Spanish Language

6 semester credits, required

Students come to Costa Rica with varying degrees of fluency in Spanish, so LASP places them in the Spanish class that corresponds to each participant's level of oral proficiency based on a placement exam and interview given prior to arrival. Classes are small and are taught by Latin Americans. Communicative competence and cultural understanding are emphasized and learning is reinforced during everyday interaction with Spanish-speaking host families.

(Possible Credit: Spanish Language)

Spanish 100

Spanish 200

Spanish 300

Spanish 400

*Perspectives on Latin America: History and Contemporary Issues

3 semester credits, required

This seminar introduces the social, historical, political, economic and theological currents that constitute Latin American society and culture. The course includes readings, presentations by Latin American experts and field trips to various sites.

(Possible Credits: History, General Studies, Cross-Cultural Studies, Spanish)

Perspectives on Latin America: History and Contemporary Issues Syllabus

 

*Regional Study Travel 

1-3 semester credits (as determined by the student’s home campus), required

The LASP group visits Limon province, affording interactions with a Costa Rican indigenous community, the traditional Afro-Caribbean population, as well as more recent immigrants. We also visit another Latin American country (typically Nicaragua) during the semester. This travel practicum component is not a vacation trip; it is an integral part of the learning process. Students attend conferences, complete selected readings and maintain a journal of ideas and perceptions developed throughout the trips, and write a term paper.

*The number of credits granted for this course is determined by each student's home campus.

Regional Study Travel Syllabus

*Community Immersion

3 semester credits, required

During the final weeks of the semester, students relocate to a different homestay. Most are in rural areas in Costa Rica, allowing them to experience a contrast to urban life in San José. In consultation with LASP staff, students choose from a variety of settings that allow them to pursue a particular area of interest: microenterprise, organic farming, work with children, and sustainable ecology are just some examples of recent placements. This time – out of the classroom and in the field (sometimes literally!)- is the culmination of the Spanish proficiency and cultural learning students have been developing all semester.